Rig carrying load of logs overturns | TahoeDailyTribune.com

Rig carrying load of logs overturns

A truck carrying 40,000 pounds of pine turned over on State Route 89 Tuesday around noon shutting down the road for nearly three hours.

About 20 gallons of diesel fuel leaked from a pressurized overflow valve on the truck’s tank after it overturned.

“We stopped the leak, we plugged it up with a redwood plug to stop the diesel flow,” said South Lake Fire Department’s Acting Captain Russ Dow. “We did a pretty quick stop on it. Absolutely none spilled into the creek.”

Firefighters used absorbent pads and sand-type material to sop up the spilled diesel, and two U.S. Forest Service employees shoveled dirt on the road to prevent the fuel from flowing off the pavement and into the creek.

The driver, Kevin Jamieson, a 46-year-old from South Lake Tahoe was not injured in the crash. Jamieson, an employee of Bushwackers, a tree service, was bringing his load from Truckee to South Lake Tahoe when he overturned his truck on the curve just north of Cascade Creek Bridge.

The logs were strewn on the bridge and in the dry river bed. Several of the 33-foot pieces of pine flattened a section of the guard rail. The turquiose cab of the truck was crushed in places, but Jamieson emerged unscathed.

“Something snapped on the frame and it flipped,” he said. “I was trying to keep it straight. I heard a scraping from the trailer dolly and 2 or 3 seconds later the nose of the tractor started lifting off the ground.”

California Highway Patrol Officer Desi Timmerman said she is still investigating the incident.

“There’s no indication there was any mechanical defect,” said Timmerman. “He failed to negotiate the curve and lost control of the vehicle.”

Jamieson said he was driving less than the 25 mph posted speed limit when he lost control of his rig.

“The logs more or less stayed put,” said South Lake Tahoe Fire Battalion Chief Scott Douglass. “It’s pretty obvious it was a slow roller. He was not traveling very fast. Right now it’s just a huge mess.”

One man affected by the accident was Rex Thorpe, a 43-year-old visiting Tahoe from Cambridge, England. He took a shuttle up to Emerald Bay, but got stuck when he tried to take a return shuttle on State Route 89 to South Shore. “I decided to get on my feet and get going,” he said. “And I got through it and nobody else did. It worked for me.” Thorpe walked about a mile before he hitched a ride back to South Lake Tahoe.

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